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22.09.2016, 18:10◄ last page     

GROUP D REVIEW: A game with eight lead changes ends in an exciting draw as Nantes failed to beat Zaporozye and win their first game ever in the VELUX EHF Champions League

Spectacular draw in Ukraine on Nantes' debut

Motor Zaporozhye and Nantes shared the points in their Group D opener of the VELUX EHF Champions League on Thursday night.

  • Sergey Shelmenko could have scored the winning goal for Motor, but missed his shot at the buzzer

  • Motor had a 100% record on their home court in the group phase last season, but the Ukrainian champions failed to win their sixth game in a row in this phase in the VELUX EHF Champions League

  • Dominik Klein was Nantes’ top scorer, with eight goals, while Stanislav Zhukov was the main scorer for the hosts, with five goals

  • Nantes will host Besiktas, the group leader, in their next game, while Motor will travel to Romania to face Dinamo Bucuresti

HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) vs HBC Nantes (FRA) 26:26 (15:16)

Neither Motor nor Nantes managed to build more than a three-goal lead in what could be the most exciting game of this Champions League match day.

The two teams traded eight lead changes, with Nantes scoring the tying goal with 37 seconds left, as the French side drew in Ukraine, 26:26.

Klein’s experience helped Nantes

It took two and a half minutes for Nantes to get their first ever goal in the VELUX EHF Champions League, as former Barcelona man Eduardo Gurbindo Martinez managed to get his shot past Motor’s goalkeeper, Victor Kireev.

It looked like Nantes were dominating the game with big signing Dominik Klein constantly finding ways to put his team ahead, with the French side leading 8:5 after 15 minutes.

However, the Ukrainian side started revving up their engines and went ahead close to the break, after a 9:5 partial between the 16th and the 27th minute, thanks to a more aggressive defense and powerful shots from their backs, especially Belarussian Barys Pukhouski, who scored four goals from four attempts in the first half.

Amazing start from Motor in the second half

A late comeback in the end of the first half spurred by the same Dominik Klein helped Nantes to a 16:15 lead at the break and it looked like the French side was heading to a maiden win in the European top competition.

While Nantes was leading, Motor had an amazing shot efficiency after the first half, 85%, and continued the frenzy in the second half, blitzing to a 5:1 partial in the first six minutes, with the French side failing to adjust their defense and finding no solution in attack.

It was a timeout called by Thierry Anti, the French coach, who got Nantes back in the game, with the guests tying the score at 20 with 20 minutes to go.

Four lead changes later, the game was still down to the wire, as Motor and Nantes exchanged timeouts in the last 90 seconds, with the hosts boasting a one-goal lead, 26:25, as the clock was winding down.

With 37 seconds left, line player Nicolas Tournat scored his first goal of the game to tie the game and determine the final score, as Sergey Shelmenko failed to make his shot in the dying seconds of the game.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / ew

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